Speaking of Audio Books: Male Narrators

Last month was the first of our continuing monthly columns on audio books. Here audio book lovers can discuss their latest finds and receive recommendations for future listening.

Finding the best bet for your next audio book choice often resembles putting together the pieces of a puzzle. Beyond determining if the storyline is to your liking, does the narrator portray both male and female characters in a manner that is pleasing to your ear? Does he speak clearly without annoying sounds (such as swallowing loudly) or mispronouncing words? Is the quality of recording such that you can listen easily without being distracted by background noise? And, since the price of audio books varies greatly, where do you find the best price?

Audio book lovers know that quality varies greatly and if you’ve had a less than favorable audio experience, don’t give up. There are many great audio books out there – you just need to know how to find them. Which brings me to our subject of the day:  Male narrators – blessings or irritants? Diana’s mini rant on male narrators from last month’s discussion provides the best opening I can imagine when debating the merits of male narrators:  “Guys! Stop trying to “do” a female voice! Please! 9 times out of 10 you sound like a drag queen and I get images of Monty Python stuck in my head. They at least did it for laughs…”  

The narrator’s portrayal of the hero is critical for my listening enjoyment since I need heroes to sound like real heroes without a bit of wimpishness. But close on the heels of that requirement is the narrator’s rendering of the heroine and Diana is, oh so right – she can’t sound like a drag queen (although I am more tolerant of a slight drag queen sounding heroine than an emasculated hero). This presents quite the challenge for a male narrator since some differentiation of the lead characters’ voices is essential to avoid confusion. At least a female narrator can deepen her voice to depict her hero but are we saying that a male narrator is not allowed to pitch his voice higher to portray a woman?

Although I consistently favor female narrators, I have discovered a few male narrators who do get it, oh so right. My enjoyment of the audio version can be far greater than the printed with a male’s spin on the hero’s dialogue. Both Steven Crossley (Judith Ivory’s The Proposition) and Simon Prebble (Mary Jo Putney’s The Marriage Spell) excel at narrating without offending one’s ears with their female interpretations. Neither pitches their voice higher when portraying the heroine and chooses instead to differentiate with accent and rhythm while giving the hero a very deep, totally male voice. Phil Gigante ranks among my favorite male narrators but it is due more to his extremely pleasing delivery of heroes who hold my attention so completely that I tend to overlook the fact that Gigante is pitching his voice a little high when depicting his heroines. (There’s much more to about Gigante in the discussion of the Moning series below.)

Less of a success was the narration by Dennis Boutsikaris of Linda Howard’s MacKenzie’s Pleasure. A case of too little distinction between the leads’ voices made it a bit challenging, although Boutsikaris does give the heroine a slight accent and faster delivery. But once I became accustomed to such nuances, I kept pace with the narration, although that may be due to the fact that I had read this book a number of times.

When it comes to a flat-out failure for male narration of a romance, my vote goes to Richard Ferrone, narrator of Elizabeth Lowell’s Only series. His narration is actually pretty impressive until his heroine utters her first words and you can’t help but think of Diana’s Monty Python reference. Even worse is the occasional injustice done to these manliest of men heroes. In the printed version of Only Love, Whip is a strong, considerate hero but Ferrone’s verbalization of Whip’s repeated claims of being a yondering man always seeking the sunrise he’s never seen, while referring to Shannon as Honey Girl, cast him forever in my mind as a slightly effeminate silly man. What a waste!

Great Romance Audio Books

When I think of great romance audio books, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series easily wins first place. Close behind are those Susan Elizabeth Phillips books narrated by Anna Fields, and third on my list is, yes, dare I say – Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander Series. While the first and second hold their places firmly due to excellent story content as well as absolutely brilliant narrators, Moning’s high ranking is primarily due to narrator Phil Gigante’s performance. Of course, there’s good writing as well but it is Gigante’s very sexy Scottish brogue and characterization of these Highland warriors that makes the series irresistible. My personal grades for this series range from A to D (with three DIKs and two B+ grades) but it is the audio versions that influenced these high grades. This charming series has a certain bawdiness that speaks to me as well as many laugh-out-loud moments and (did I mention?) very sexy heroes who are always trying to take care of their sensible, highly intelligent heroines. One other note about this vastly entertaining audio series concerns reading order. If I had read (listened to) this series in order, I doubt I would be making this enthusiastic recommendation today. I actually started with book 4, Kiss of the Highlander, my favorite of the series, and followed with books 5-7. If you like time-traveling Scottish warriors in contemporary times, I don’t think you can do much better than this series in audio!

Latest Reads

This past month has been a real audio book roller coaster ride personally with everything from almost-complete success to utter failure.

Kiss Me While I Sleep – Linda Howard, narrated by Joyce Bean and Dick Hill.  This one worked very well as a moving romantic suspense tale with an above average female narrator and only average male narrator.

Touch of Fire – Linda Howard, narrated by Natalie Ross. This is a pleasant western romance but the narrator failed to deliver on the hardened hero. Instead Rafe’s voice is shaky with a real “golly – gee” spin. Good thing I had read this one because Rafe sounded like a bit of a wimp in audio.

Private Arrangements – Sherry Thomas, narrated by Virginia Leishman.  This one gets an A, however, the book’s constant shift from an earlier time to its present day can be confusing for the first time reader. Having read the book previously, I quickly learned to listen for the change in years and thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

Lover Eternal – J R Ward, narrated by Jim Frangione.  The narrator reads, rather than acts, and in doing so, fails to deliver anything but a muddled mess. However I am sympathetic to his plight as there are too many characters to portray adequately. I don’t see this series as an audio success – period.  

Recent Additions

A few recent additions to my audio library:

Dream Man – Linda Howard, narrated by Phil Gigante. I have been waiting for this one and, OMG, it is narrated by my favorite!

Secrets of Surrender – Madeline Hunter, narrated by Simon Prebble. Proving that I truly have no prejudice against male narrators Simon Prebble narrates and I buy.

Ice Storm – Anne Stuart, narrated by Lauren Fortgang. I’m not a big fan of the Ice series but this is one of my favorites. I’m unfamiliar with the narrator so I’m taking a chance since the listening sample sounds average at best.

Time for Your Thoughts

Do you listen to male narrators? Who are your favorites or less-than favorites? Do you see male narrators as more of a blessing or an irritant? What did you think of the Phil Gigante’s performance of The Highlander Series? What audio books have you enjoyed more than their print version? What is your latest audio book experience? Any additions to your library?

-Lea Hensley

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35 Responses to “Speaking of Audio Books: Male Narrators”

  1. Julie L. says:

    I agree, the male narrator can make or break an audiobook.  I loved Phil Gigante in the Highlander series, though I have only listened to Spell of the Highlander and read the others, though I do intend to go back and listen to “Kiss” since that my favorite in the series too, but  I gave Spell a 5/5 simply for his voice alone!

    Another really good narrator that I loved is Simon Prebble who narrates the Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn, he does a great job, I loved him in When He Was Wicked.

  2. Azure says:

    I have to agree about Simon Prebble–I’ve greatly enjoyed listening to him narrate the Bridgerton series.  (Not so much the Cynster series, although it’s not because of him but because I realized just how loooong and booooring the love scenes get in Laurens’ books.)   I’ll have to check out Steven Crossley, because The Proposition is one of my favorite books.

    As for Jim Frangione–as you say, it is no doubt difficult to do JR Ward’s series, but I was hoping for a little more than what we got.

    In the non-romance male narrator department, Jim Dale is tops for me.  I’ve greatly enjoyed listening to the Harry Potter series.  And I really like Frank Muller, too.

  3. Katie says:

    So far, except for Simon Prebble, I haven’t been able to listen to male narrators without cringing.  Davina Porter, Anna Fields, and C.J. Critt in the Stephanie Plum books all do males so well, I never think about the reader being female.  And when I hear a male narrator reading a love scene I feel a little weird.  I’m wondering if he’s thinking “So this is what women like?”  I’m going to try Phil Gigante and watch this post for more male narrator suggestions.  

  4. Diana says:

    Lea, I’m so glad you’re doing a regular audio column!  More later.

  5. Ellen AAR says:

    One of my favorite narrators is Jonathan Cecil who reads the Jeeves and Wooster series by P.G. Wodehouse.  He does a wonderful job on the voices of both sexes – no drag queens there.

  6. MarissaB says:

    I agree totally with you about the Outlander series being the best of the best.  Davina Porter is excellent.

    Among my favorite male readers are George Guidall (Saga of the Seven Suns series by David Weber) and Scott Brick (Dune series by Frank Herbert and its sequels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson).  Then there’s Cornelius Garrett who did wonderful work with Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades, Beauvallet, and The Quiet Gentleman.

    I also think Neil Gaiman and Isaac Asimov are excellent readers of their own work.

    I am currently listening to The Proposition by Judith Ivory, narrated by Steven Crossley.  Thanks so much for recommending this in last month’s audie post.  This is certainly proving to be well performed.

    I will be definitely be trying out Phil Gigante with Moning’s Highlander series.  Got to wait for my audible.com credits to kick in later this month.

  7. RobinB says:

    If you don’t mind listening to an abridged audio book, the one and only Liam Neeson narrated the abridged version of How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill. Very appropriate, don’t you think? Yes, it’s nonfiction, but Neeson’s narration is so spellbinding that you think that you’re listening to a novel.  I generally don’t listen to audio books in my car, especially on a long drive, as I find that I’m not really paying as close attention to my driving as I should because I’m trying to follow the narrative. For short trips in areas that I’m familiar with, it’s not as big an issue.

  8. Lea/AAR says:

    Julie L – I just finished listening to Spell of the Highlander last week.  I am amazed at the narrator’s ability to effectively differentiate between Drustan, Daegus, and Cian’s voices within the same scene.  I knew who was speaking by the time the three of them had their first scene together. So, what do you think of the female voices?

    Azure – I have yet to listen to the Bridgerton series with Simon Prebble.  I feel like I have a huge unopened gift waiting for me!  Did you listen to (or read) the series in order?  I have only read one in this series.

    Katie – The whole “male reading a love scene” scenario was one I almost tackled in this article and then thought “What about listening to love scenes in general?”  I decided it deserved an entire column!  Pretty juicy and controversial stuff, IMO.

    MarrisaB – So glad you are enjoying The Proposition.  I understand about the Audible credits.  My day is the 20th of each month and usually my Wish List is bulging by the time it arrives.  After seeing some of these recommendations, I may have to give in to the temptation to purchase one or two outside of my allowable credits.

    RobinB – I have to try this one narrated by Liam Neesom.  A few years ago I purchased “All the Pretty Horses” narrated by Brad Pitt.  I didn’t make it through one-fourth of the book because his speech was so unremarkable.  Of course it could be partly due to the fact that all those cowboys don’t speak with much expression to begin with but I found it dull.
     

     

  9. Katie Mack says:

    My most recent audiobook experience: listening to the incredible Anna Fields narrate “Hot Ice” by Nora Roberts. I normally just listen to audiobooks while I’m exercising, driving, or cleaning — times when I can’t pick up the printed book instead. But I had so much fun listening to Fields bring the characters and story to life that not once did I long for the printed version. I’m certain I wouldn’t have enjoyed the story nearly as much had I been reading it instead of listening to Ms. Fields.

  10. Cindy W says:

    I really am enjoying this monthly Audiobook post!

    Okay, I LOVE Phil Gigante, and telling me that he reads Dream Man, WOW, I can’t wait to see if my library has it.  Jim F. reading Lover Avenged, was okay, I will be rereading the book before Lover Mine comes out. He’s not a Phil G, not even close. I think Phil G is the best (that I’ve heard, still have a bunch more to explore).

    Phil G got an audie award for reading Dark Highlander, he actually comments in Karen Marie Moning’s forum. Check it out http://www.karenmoning.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17019 I wonder if you guys could get him in an interview (hint hint). His mother was Scottish!

    I actually just started Outlander today on the way to work, and Divina Porter is awesome! I am looking forward to Simon Prebble and Steven Crossley .

    I could not deal with Dick Hill who reads Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts… and Holter Graham who reads Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

    Thanks for the tips.

  11. Lea/AAR says:


    Cindy W,
    Dick Hill’s portrayal of Lucas in Kiss Me While I Sleep was not what I expected for a hero such as Lucas.  His belly laugh and smoky voice (meaning he sounded like a longtime smoker) reminded me of a much older jolly sort of man with – yes, a large belly!  I do think I will read, rather than listen to this one next time.
     

  12. Cindy W says:

    Ha Ha Lea!

    Jim F in Lover Avenged sounded like my grandfather… EWWW!

  13. AAR Sandy says:

    Cindy W:  An interview with Phil G. is a most EXCELLENT idea!  Lea, let’s talk!

  14. Azure says:

    Lea–

    Unfortunately, only the last three books in the Bridgerton series are available as audiobooks, and I don’t know if there are plans for the others to be released.  I would hope so, but it’s been so long since the last one that I’m beginning to lose hope.  I read the books in order–and listened to the available audiobooks in order as well.

  15. Julie L. says:

    Lea – hmm women narrators.  I agree, Davina Porter is the gold standard, I’m listening to Voyager right now in my car, I am an admitted Outlander junkie and am always listening to one of the books in my car.

    As far as the female voices by Gigante – well… they are not great.  Almost laughable, but the male voices more than make up for it.  In Spell, his female voice cracked me up, but it worked!  Especially when he’d say things like “Are you for real? As if!”  or “‘Twas?”  I actually thought it was hilarious, though he made her sound like a ninny most of the time.

    I know what you mean about the different voices between the three, and then the “voice” and then how he sounds when he was in the mirror-all great!  I simply loved it!

  16. PeggyP says:

    Uh oh, no more credits until the 12th…you guys are killing me here!
    I drive about 90 min round trip each day and if it weren’t for audiobooks, I’d be way crazy! Love this column, great addition to the website, how about bi-weekly instead of monthly? I’m late to Linda Howard so will get Dream Man asp – thanks for all the rec’s and agree with all the above mentioned narrators as great. I’m currently enjoying re-listening to my JD Robb collection to fill in on my drive time. Susan Erickson  is easy to listen to, her Peabody voice is just so right.

  17. Diana says:

    After listening to Dream Man I’m still having the love/hate relationship with Phil G. Loved his Dane voice – all deep and sexy – but he’s still swanning a bit too much for me with his girly voice.  I break out in shivers.  I’ve  got a a couple of the Highlander books in my library from a long-ago sale and I’ll give them another try.

    I agree with everyone who says Jim Frangione is an odd choice for JR Ward.  He mispronounces words and seems uncomfortable with the uber hipster Brotherhood-speak, yet I like the way he reads the books.  I can’t explain it.  Dick Hill is obviously a superstar in audiobooks, but he’s way too draggy on female voices for my comfort.  I like him on Kiss Me While I Sleep  and Deborah Smith’s On Bear Mountain because he’s partnered with a female narrator.  There have been several books I didn’t buy because Hill is the narrator.

    My favorite guy performances: James Daniels on Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts and Smoke in Mirrors by Jayne Ann Krentz (melty sexy), Victor Slezak on Envy (hot and deliciously tortured), Dennis Boutsikaris on Richochet  by Sandra Brown (tortured hot cop),  and William Hurt on Hearts in Atlantis  by Stephen King (read me the phone book, I’ll listen).  I like Boutsikaris on Tess Gerritson Rizzoli/Isles books as well and yes, even on Mackenzie’s Mission.  IMO, he’s a pretty decent Zane.

    I’m really liking these columns and the recs from other fans!  

    Topics I’d like to see covered in future:  Audible’s (an Amazon company) monopoly on audiobooks.  Why Jeff Bezos should send some of his Kindle marketing geniuses over to Audible to explain to them what a romance is.  In other words, don’t hide the books romance readers are looking for in “mystery/thriller” or “sci-fi/fantasy.”  Ravenous Romance titles are so not  romance.  And I’m curious as to why some of our favorite authors don’t have audio deals?

    Brockmann’s Over the Edge released today.  I’ve got credits, baby  (woo hoo!), and I’m downloading now.

  18. Lea/AAR says:

    Julie L – The voice from the mirror in the Moning series (Spell of the Highlander) – was that not great?  It didn’t sound a bit hokey and I could easily imagine it coming from another dimension.  And I too cracked up when Gigante voiced all those “As if” and “Twas” type comments for the heroine.  He knew how to wring every bit of humor from those small statements and I found it far more entertaining than its print version.

    PeggyP – I’m so glad you are enjoying the column.  We may well consider running an audio column more often – possibly with new romance audio book listings, etc.  Let me think on it!

    Diana – Thanks for the ideas for future columns.  You know?  Looking for new audio releases on Audible is like a treasure hunt and now I know why!  I only look by “release date” in romance.  Any other advice on finding not only new but a complete listing of upcoming romance releases on Audible?
     

     

  19. Lea, excellent post! Narrators always have the power to make or break a book.  It can be the best book in the world and if it’s read by a crappy reader, it can be awful.  I don’t mind listening to men.  But I think I prefer the voice to match whomever the POV is the most.

    I thoroughly enjoy listening to John Rubenstein read Johnathan Kellerman’s Alex Deleware series.  But I shuddered and couldn’t finish Patrick Lawlor’s reading of Hot Target and Flashpoint by Suz Brockmann. One of the worst female narrators I have ever listened to is Bernadette Quigly.  But I will buy just about anything done by Joyce Bean and Susan Erickson! 

    I know it’s crazy, but typically I only buy the audiobook of a book that I have already read! lolol That way, I don’t have to pay attention as closely to the narration and can drive a wee bit more safely.  But like you and the other reader/listeners, an audiobook can forever change how I “see” the book in my minds eye!

  20. Melanie says:

    So glad to see discussion on this topic.  I am an avid audiobook listener and am always on the lookout for something new.  My most recent good experience was was the Lisa Kleypas contemporaries, Sugar Daddy and Blue Eyed Devil. Blue Eyed Devil was a joy to listen to.  Thought Renee Raudman did an amazing job on the south Texas accents and the story just came to life.  Had a much less pleasant experience with Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson.  This was a wonderful book, but the narrator was extremely annoying.  Only the quality of the story kept me listening.
    Also a Phil Gigante fan!  No one could do those highlanders any better.
    Currently listening to Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ What I Did for Love.  Anna Fields will be sorely missed, but Julia Gibson is doing a good job so far. 

  21. MaryK says:

    Has anyone listened to Magic Bites read by Renee Raudman or Cry Wolf read by Holter Graham?  I liked both books when I read them and am considering the audio versions.  The thing is the excerpts provided by audible are very uninspiring.  Can anyone tell me if they get better?

  22. MaryK says:

    Shelly @ Bewitched:
    I know it’s crazy, but typically I only buy the audiobook of a book that I have already read!
    ———————————–
    Not crazy at all!  I don’t absorb things that I hear as well as I absorb things that I read so I’d miss all kinds of stuff if I listened to a book instead of reading it.

    (How do you un-indent to add your own comments when using the new quote function?)

  23. Lea/AAR says:

    Diana - I just realized what Brockmann book you mentioned that was recently released!  I have been waiting for Over the Edge and somehow missed it.  Is anyone familiar with the narrator Laura Hicks?  She’s new to me.

    Shelly – I gave up on Lawlor’s narration of Flashpoint.  I simply did not want the hero to talk like that!
    If I have enjoyed reading a book, I don’t hesitate to buy the audio version (if the narrator is decent) – it does make for an easier read.  But there have been a few I have listened to without first reading the books, including Gabaldon’s Outlander series and a few on Moning’s Highlander series.  My level of enjoyment was high but I do think I will enjoy the Outlander series even more when I listen to it for a second time now that I know the basics.

    MaryK – Moving the cursor with the down arrow automatically placed the text to the left but when I hit return from the body of the quote, it remained indented.  Does this help?

  24. library addict says:

    I enjoyed Gary Littman’s narration of Northern Lights by Nora Roberts. 

    I have listened to a couple of Jayne Ann Krentz books there were narrated by both a man and a woman alternating chapters.  Very disconcerting to start, but once the change over had occurred several times I got used to it.  Not something I would recommend overall though.
     

    I don’t care if the narrator is male or female.  Each can have trouble voicing the opposite sex.  I just like the narration not to be too monotone and the individual character voices distinct enough that I can tell who is speaking.  Sadly, that is not always the case.

     

  25. GamaTST says:

    As yet another HUGE audio book fan I was delighted to find this column! And then go back and read the first column also. I’ve enjoyed everyone’s opinions of narrators as I too have been unable to listen to more than one book because the narrator ruined it IMHO. And I have to say that a male narrator can ruin a book much faster for me than a female.

    For the most part my ears are in tune with everyone elses here. I was very disappointed with Jim Frangione’s Dark Lover. It took a great, hot book and turned it into a tortourous listen.  Another that I refuse to listen to ever again is Richard Ferrone after he butchered Rachel Gibson’s It Must Be Love in my ears.

    On to the positive! After listening to Dream Man last week I am a new, but avid, fan of Phil Gigante. He did Dane so perfectly (truly drool worthy for me <G>) that I could deal with the less than perfect Marlee. I will be trying the KMM books narrated by him very soon!

    Another recent Linda Howard release is Heart of Fire and I thoroughly enjoyed Tanya Eby Sirios as the narrator.

    The novella Dark Descent by Christine Feehan also had an excellent narrator in Natalie Gold. She did a sexy Eastern European accent for Traian that made the book for me besides the fiesty heroine that I loved.

    I enjoy the books where there are a male and female narrator for the characters and one of my recent favorites is Jayne Ann Krentz’s The Golden Chance with Patrick Lawlor and Franette Liebow.

    My favorite  Amanda Quick audio books have the incompareable   Barbara Rosenblatt as the narrator but Anne Flosnick does a good job with the more recent releases. 

    Jill Tanner’s narration of Julie Garwood’s The Secret was fabulous. I’ve converted many of my books on cassette into MP3 files but I am truly hoping that Audible (or anyone!) will soon release all the great books that have previously come out only on cassette or CD from both Recoded Books and Books on Tape.

    My two cents on this subject has run into a book and I’ll end it by saying that Diane Setterfields The Thirteenth Tale narratede by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner still haunts me a year later. The book and especially the narration were that good.

  26. Lea/AAR says:

    Converting books on cassette to MP3 files – I didn’t think it possible without a lot of know-how (which I don’t have) and time commitment (don’t you have to play the tapes in full to record?).  I have many audio cassettes that are not offered in any other format today.  My favorites seem to be from Recorded Books.  If I can figure this out, I will do the same. 

  27. GamaTST says:

    I used a program that came with my computer to convert my cassettes but I have heard excellent things about Spin It Again software for easy converting. A line from the headphone jack of the cassette player to the line in jack of the computer is all that’s needed along with the software.

    You do have to play the tapes in full. I set a timer and went about my business when I was home and just swapped out the tapes each time the timer went off. I used a player that automatically went from side A to side B of the tape. You get the lag in the middle but it was easier to do a full tape at a time.

    In the end it was worth it to me to have all my books from cassette also saved as MP3 files on my computer for easy transfer to my iPod or any other MP3 player.

  28. katie bug says:

    I’ve just finished “Outlander” read by Ms. Porter and I think I’m ruined for any other books. OMG what an experience!! I know this isn’t a romance novel but “Gorgoyle” read by Lincoln Hoppe was fantastic!!

  29. Anne Stuart says:

    I really loved the audio version of ICE STORM (though it’s one of my favorite books to begin with) and I like ICE BLUE almost as much. Recently I’ve been devouring Georgette Heyer on audio (I listen on my iPod as I go to sleep), with mixed results. Some I’ve adored, some are only okay. As for Barbara Rosenblatt, she makes a great Amelia Peabody, but she makes Emerson sound all wrong to my ears. That’s the one danger — I have such strong feelings about heroes and the wrong voice can throw me. Vidal in DEVIL’S CUB sounds like a thug, Avon in THESE OLD SHADES sounds like Colonel Blimp (he shouts instead of drawls).
    Loved SLEEPING BEAUTY by Judith Ivory, and I’ve been trying to think of what new to try.
    I’m glad you’re doing this column.
    Cheers.

  30. Priscilla says:

    I have to say that audio books are my saving grace. I have one going in the car at all times and then one in the house. I have just finished listening (again!) to Stephanie Laurens Promise in a Kiss nartrated by Simon Preble. He does a wonderful job with romance books. He really gets into the romantic sexy scenes! His voice is addictive. He does a good job with Julia Quinn’s books also.

    Davina Porter is the best and her narration of Gabaldon’s Outlander series is amazing. I also like Jill Tanner. She did Stephanie Laurens Bastion Club series.
    One of the worst male narrators I have listened to is David Dukes and his narration of Lavryle Spencer’s book That Camden Summer. His reading of that book absolutely ruined the book for me.

    I just finished listening to The Guernsey Literay and Potato Peel Pie Society which was narrated by 5 different people and while I was a little hesitant about that at first, I really liked it. Since the book was a collection of letters the different narrators gave voice to the different characters and it worked really well.

  31. Lea/AAR says:

    Anne – I’m encouraged to try Sleeping Beauty again. It is one of my favorite historicals and I have it on my iPod ready to go. The first five minutes, however, gave me pause as my mind struggled to adjust my image of the leads to the pictures in my head (so I know exactly what you are talking about with the Heyer books). I have listened to no more than that first five minutes! I don’t know if you saw our May 5th column on audio books but it may have some recommendations for something new to try. http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=1593#more-1593

    Priscilla – I’m listening to Simon Prebble’s narration of Secrets of Surrender (Madeline Hunter) and he is one of the best male narrators around IMHO. And Davina Porter narrating the Outlander series – I think we can have an entire discussion about in the future! After hearing her narration, I no longer read this series but listen to it!

    FYI – Our next audio discussion is slated for July 7th.

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